Rotating dust particles in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

M. Fulle, S. L. Ivanovski, I. Bertini, P. Gutierrez, L. Lara, H. Sierks, V. Zakharov, V. Della Corte, A. Rotundi, C. Barbieri, P. L. Lamy, R. Rodrigo, D. Koschny, H. Rickman, H. U. Keller, J. Agarwal, M. F. A'Hearn, M. A. Barucci, J. L. Bertaux, D. BodewitsG. Cremonese, V. Da Deppo, B. Davidsson, S. Debei, M. De Cecco, S. Fornasier, O. Groussin, C. Guttler, S. F. Hviid, W. Ip, L. Jorda, J. Knollenberg, R. Kramm, E. Kuhrt, M. Kuppers, M. Lazzarin, J. J. Lopez-Moreno, F. Marzari, H. Michalik, G. Naletto, N. Oklay, L. Sabau, N. Thomas, C. Tubiana, J. B. Vincent, K. P. Wenzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

During September and October 2014, the OSIRIS cameras onboard the ESA Rosetta mission detected millions of single particles. Many of these dust particlesappear as long tracks (due to both the dust proper motion and the spacecraft motion during the exposure time) with a clear brightness periodicity. We interpret the observed periodic features as a rotational and translational motion of aspherical dust grains. Methods. By counting the peaks of each track, we obtained statistics of a rotation frequency. We compared these results with the rotational frequency predicted by a model of aspherical dust grain dynamics in a model gas flow. By testing many possible sets of physical conditions and grain characteristics, we constrained the rotational properties of dust grains. Results. We analyzed on the motion of rotating aspherical dust grains with different cross sections in flow conditions corresponding to the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko qualitatively and quantitatively. Based on the OSIRIS observations, we constrain the possible physical parameters of the grains.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA14
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Volume583
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Comets: general
  • Comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
  • Methods: numerical
  • Space vehicles

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